Global developments such as the fall in crude oil prices, the changes in China and capacity build in the US will have an impact on future supply and demand as well as profitability of the petrochemicals business. This two-day course explores key petrochemical markets, providing an in-depth introduction to petrochemicals pricing, trade flows and regional dynamics, and insights into how recent events have altered the competitive landscape.

In doing so, the course is designed to answer delegates’ burning questions, such as the correlation between petrochemicals and oil, the impact of Chinese developments globally, and the outlook for petrochemical markets in the coming months and years.

View the agenda or enquire about the course now 


Welcome and introduction

Understanding petrochemicals and polymers

  • What are petrochemicals and where do they come from?
  • Stea, cracking: A process in making petrochemical building blocks
  • Polymer overview: The value chain and key feedstocks

Examining oil and gas and its relationship with polyolefins

  • Where petrochemicals are produced in refineries
  • Production, consumption and reserves
  • Types of natural gas and distribution: NGL, LPG, LNG
  • The US shale gas revolution: What it means for petchems
  • Coal-to-chemicals value chain: The rise of China


Polyolefins production process and value chains

  • Basic introduction to PE and PP production routes and processes
  • Different grades of PE and their end-use applications: LDPE, LLDPE, HDPE
  • Different grades of PP and their end-use applications: Homo versus co-polymer
  • An introduction to plastics processing

The polyolefins markets part I: Us and China

  • Overview of global supply and demand
  • The rise of US PE capacities and implications for Asia
  • China’s increasing PP self-sufficiency


The polyolefins markets part II: Opportunities for the US polyolefins market

  • Spotlight on the feedstock dynamics
  • Outlining the key opportunities and challenges
  • The supply and demand balance

Exercise: The relationship of polyolefins in the petrochemicals value chain

Pricing and markets

  • Cost analysis: What are the factors contributing to overall costs of production in a steam cracker-to-polyolefins complex?
  • Understanding cost curves and margins
  • Competitiveness across different regions: How margins vary between the US, Europe and Asi

Wrap up and Q&A



John Richardson – Consultant, ICIS Asia

John Richardson is a highly experienced trainer and chemicals industry analyst, who has been working in the industry for 18 years. Based in Asia-Pacific, John has a deep knowledge of the companies and people who have transformed the region into the world’s major production and consumption region. His aim is to provide insightful, factually-based analysis of the key issues facing the industry. His views are highly valued by senior executives, who appreciate his balanced and independent approach.

From 2006 until 2013, John was the Director for ICIS Training, where he successfully launched the business in the region, providing a wide range of courses covering petrochemicals, oil refining, fertilizers and base oils. He now works for the ICIS Consulting team. John has also co-authored an e-book, Boom, Gloom and the New Normal, with Paul Hodges of United Kingdom-based consultancy, International eChem. The book, which has been published by ICIS, examines how demographic factors and events in financial markets have reshaped the global economy. His Asian Chemical Connections blog has a wide regional and global readership.

Seet Tiong Boon – Head of Learning & Development, ICIS

Seet has served in the commercial and technical capacity within the plastics and rubber industry for 20 years prior to serving at ICIS in the recent 5 years to promote its supply and demand database service for energy, refining, feedstock and petrochemicals and helping customers take advantage of the database in their strategic planning activities.

From 1990 through 2000, Seet served with Phillips Petroleum and Advanced Elastomer Systems where she established a technical center and developed new applications for thermoplastic elastomers (TPEs). She also twice set up computer simulations labs to model polymer flows in injection molds and conduct mechanical stress analyzes to refine both part and mold designs as well as to optimize processing parameters for engineering plastics and TPEs. Beyond injection molding, Seet also worked on extrusion and blow molding technologies. From 2000 to 2009, Seet served at Solvay Advanced Polymers working with high and ultra performance engineering plastics developing new business and applications. By training, Seet is a polymer rheologist, a mechanical engineer, a professional marketer and a certified Workforce Skills Qualification trainer and assessor.

Seet has delivered presentations at regional conferences in the past sharing her expertise on TPEs, engineering plastics and related commodities. She now joins the ICIS training team bringing in a blend of technical and applications development experience as well as refining and petrochemicals markets background to deliver relevant learning experience to the delegates.

Why attend this course?

  • Explore the impact of recent events on the industry, both in the short- and long-term
  • Understand the factors driving prices, supply and demand
  • A jargon-free explanation of polymers production and processes
  • Gain insight into market trends and regional dynamics
  • Learn about key raw materials and technologies

Reserve your place now

Testimonials from past delegates

“It is with great pleasure that I provide the following testimonial for the “FUNDAMENTALS OF THE POLYMERS BUSINESS” training course led by Paul Cherry.

Being a Packaging Technologist it is always important to understand the trends of plastic materials to ensure the right choices are made in the design phase. I found the “FUNDAMENTALS OF THE POLYMERS BUSINESS” training course has helped me to investigate and provide alternatives that consider the future trends. This in turn assists the company to be proactive rather than reactive. Paul was very informative and his style of presenting kept everyone engaged”.

Packaging Technologist, LION Dairy and Drinks, Australia

“I’m new to the world of chemicals and polymers in specific, so this course was more like an introduction to the business. It has helped me a lot, after the course I got a fine idea of all different products/applications plus a very good view on the different controlling markets (America/Asia/ME/Europe) which is decisive to develop a vision behind the pricing of both raw materials/finished products. Also Paul Cherry was a very interactive teacher and he answered all of my questions superbly, so really enjoyed this course!

I would sincerely recommend it to anybody who is new to the business and if I get the opportunity I will surely do so!”

Sales Manager, NCT Middle East


Course Fees

$1,000 (+UK VAT at 20% if applicable)*

For group bookings of three or more, please contact us via icis.training@rbi.co.uk

*NB: Please enter your VAT number (or local equivalent) on our payment page, otherwise UK VAT at 20% will be applied. Customers based in the UK will be charged UK VAT at 20% whether or not a VAT number is provided.


In-House Training

ICIS works alongside our clients to create bespoke training courses that mould our expertise and your specific needs. We’ll pinpoint the current expertise of your employees, areas for improvement, and your business goals, and develop a training course that will bring tangible benefits to your business.

Our custom training courses are delivered as interactive workshops, focusing on the products, concepts and issues that are most relevant and beneficial to you.

  • Save money on transportation and accommodation, with training at a convenient location
  • Flexibility – you determine the length and duration of the sessions
  • Interactive workshops with hands-on exercises, to reinforce key skills, techniques and concepts
  • Take-away the course materials, presentations and background information for future reference

To enquire about in-house training for this course please click here and a member of our team will get back to you.


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